Predictive Utility of Marketed Volumetric Software Tools in Subjects at Risk for Alzheimer Disease: Do Regions Outside the Hippocampus Matter?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background and purpose

Alzheimer disease is a prevalent neurodegenerative disease. Computer assessment of brain atrophy patterns can help predict conversion to Alzheimer disease. Our aim was to assess the prognostic efficacy of individual-versus-combined regional volumetrics in 2 commercially available brain volumetric software packages for predicting conversion of patients with mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer disease.

Materials and methods

Data were obtained through the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. One hundred ninety-two subjects (mean age, 74.8 years; 39% female) diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment at baseline were studied. All had T1-weighted MR imaging sequences at baseline and 3-year clinical follow-up. Analysis was performed with NeuroQuant and Neuroreader. Receiver operating characteristic curves assessing the prognostic efficacy of each software package were generated by using a univariable approach using individual regional brain volumes and 2 multivariable approaches (multiple regression and random forest), combining multiple volumes.


On univariable analysis of 11 NeuroQuant and 11 Neuroreader regional volumes, hippocampal volume had the highest area under the curve for both software packages (0.69, NeuroQuant; 0.68, Neuroreader) and was not significantly different (P > .05) between packages. Multivariable analysis did not increase the area under the curve for either package (0.63, logistic regression; 0.60, random forest NeuroQuant; 0.65, logistic regression; 0.62, random forest Neuroreader).


Of the multiple regional volume measures available in FDA-cleared brain volumetric software packages, hippocampal volume remains the best single predictor of conversion of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer disease at 3-year follow-up. Combining volumetrics did not add additional prognostic efficacy. Therefore, future prognostic studies in mild cognitive impairment, combining such tools with demographic and other biomarker measures, are justified in using hippocampal volume as the only volumetric biomarker.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tanpitukpongse, TP; Mazurowski, MA; Ikhena, J; Petrella, JR; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative,

Published Date

  • March 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 546 - 552

PubMed ID

  • 28057634

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5352470

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1936-959X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0195-6108

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3174/ajnr.a5061


  • eng